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One is the Loneliest Number

While typing this I have the song “One is the Loneliest Number” playing through my head. This weekend all of our kids except for Adrienne were gone. As a blended family this happens roughly twice a year. This last weekend was one of those times.

I didn’t name this house Casa La Crazy for nothing. With 9 people,7 of them kiddos,there is always something in some part of the house going on.

Except this last weekend.

Within hours of the 6 kiddos being gone I was facebooking how weird it felt only having one child at home.

By that night I had facebooked that I was definitely not made to have only one or two kids.

We constantly get comments the normal comments most large families get:

Are they all yours?

Don’t you know what causes that?

How do you handle all those kids?

I could never handle that many kids I just don’t have the patience.

I knew after I had my second child that I definitely wanted more children. Poor Brandon kind of got thrown into this big family thing,but I am constantly amazed at how much it suits him.

By Sunday even poor Squishy was in a tizzy over not having any of her siblings here at the home front. she just wanted to be held and cuddled…but apparently not only by me and daddy.

Once my kiddos came home Sunday night Squishy’s face lit up and she spent the rest of the night giggling and playing.

Yesterday the girls came home.

All 9 of us are back under one roof again.

We went out to dinner last night with Brandon’s family. As I looked back over at the kids table I felt a wholeness in my heart again.

Yes for me…One is the Loneliest number and I’m so glad to have ALL my kiddos back at home!

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Cleaning Spree

So it seems ever since that big ol digital sign “pregnant” showed up on not one but all 3 of my tests and then the nurse at the clinic said,”yup you’re pregnant.” I have gone into super organization mode.Sadly it only comes in bursts and is usually followed by a need to take a nap.

I spent most of Friday night putting together a 2012 calendar/binder for myself since now my life has become just a wee bit busier. I have my own personal weekly calendar in the notebook,and then I thought to myself,”Hey b is always asking me what I have going on for the day.” so I hung a second weekly calendar in the bedroom so he can see himself.

He’s even gotten on board a bit when he told me he should give me his dr’s apt card so I can add it in…and I’m not gonna lie this excited me. I may just be turning into a huge organizational dork…well the most someone can be while living in a house with 11 other people.

See I’ve wanted Rice Krispie treats for the last 4 nights. Easy enough except the marshmallow gets a little gooey and sticky right?Well the kids haven’t cleaned up the corner of the counter next to the stove well enough to justify making another mess over there. So here I sit Rice Krispie Treatless….

I walked downstairs into one of the rooms yesterday and pulled things away from the walls and told the kids to ,”Clean it all up now.” you could see the grumbles across their face but amazingly we found the cell phone the kids had lost about 2 weeks ago.

See mommy makes you clean so you can find stuff!

I wonder how much longer I can get away with this organizational crap before I drive everyone around me mad?

 

Routine Yes….Mundane Never!!!

Well this is going into the 3rd or 4th week I’ve been up at B’s aunt’s house…I think it’s the 3rd but seriously sometimes it’s like living in a time warp here. The kids have all settled into their routines as well as me. I get up when B gets up spend some time with him(or blogging like I am now), then once he leaves I have about 20 minutes of “alone time” before I wake up his oldest and on Monday,Wednesday,and every other Friday his youngest as well. Get them ready for public school with breakfast and doggy tails, and then usher them out the door with I love you’s and hugs.Umm very Donna Reed,June Cleaver,or which ever 50’s housewife you want to relate to.Well except without the pearls.I’m usually still in pj pants with a cup of coffee in my hand. I know Mrs. Cleaver….the horror!

Barbara Billingsley Pictures, Images and Photos

From there on I start my kiddos days of chores,breakfast and our school.(We’ve switched over to Story of The World vol 2 for right now.)Then we usually chill for a bit in the early afternoon before the girl or girls return. If Dede is staying home with us she does school with us as well.By 2:45 I have my kiddos back around the dining room table to start workbook work and await the kids arrival.

Depending on whether or not his aunt is working nights I either scramble to get dinner on the table by 5:30 while helping 6 kiddos with work, or I get a little bit of a breather. Then dinner,then showers for those who need it,then read to them,then prayers and bed…..

And I’ve been complaining that I’m tired for no good reason? Just reading those last 3 paragraphs make me tired.

So yes sounds like a very good routine but you have to throw in the fact that besides B,me and the kiddos, there are 4 other people living here. There are texts going back and forth to the two college kids wondering if they’ll be home tonight for dinner or later,an aunt who’s an OB nurse and works a rotating shift,and a 14 year old who actually usually jumps right in when he gets home to help with homework or whatever else needs to be done.(the other night he taught Holly greater than and less than,it was really cute.)

Last night’s dinner was one of the best I’ve had in a long time. We have a ton of turkey left over so I decided after reading this recipe…http://tastykitchen.com/blog/2011/11/homemade-chicken-and-dumplings/ I would make turkey and dumplings. I was a little nervous about making the rolled out dumplings as I’ve never attempted that before,but the minute I got my hands into the dough I knew it would be alright!

It’s been awhile since I’ve had my hands in anything but laundry(oh did I not mention the laundry?)

where was I?Oh right last night’s dinner. Seriously good and waaayyy easy and fast. Try it!Now!

So last night’s dinner, was one of the best and loudest dinners I’ve experienced in a long time! B was working late, and aunt Nancy and her youngest were out running errands so it was just me,the kids,and the two college age cousins.

So umm only,9 of us last night.

Ha! And I had a cousin who was complaining about cooking Thanksgiving Dinner for 17.(12 is the norm around here.9 is a light night)

It started out with the older boys throwing out random spelling words to the kids.You know words like cataclysm, or pseudonym, then it moved onto the Nordic words. Then I reminded the boys they were studying Rome, so it moved into Roman Mythology,then onto Greek. Everyone was shouting out questions and answers. Trust me it got loud. And the grand finale? Well Xmen trivia of course.While the older kids were all taking part of that,Holly and Dede were giving each other words to spell as well.

It really was cute but by the time dinner and chores were done, I was so ready to tuck those kiddos into bed. We read our last bit of Super Fudge and called it a night.

So yes we’ve definitely settled into a routine,no matter how crazy it may be,I’m loving and cherishing every moment of it.

Now will someone please pass me the coffee,or valium……heck make it both!

Picture Post

Two days ago I decided to take the creatures up to Manito Park again.We haven’t been since this summer, and I knew the trees would be beautiful with it being fall so off we went. I got to take them up to the Japanese Gardens and they had a blast! I got some great pics to share with all of you!

 

 

 

 

 

These last two are def my favorite. especially with them all peeking out. I think I may blow it up to hang on m wall. I took so many more I may post later but these are some of the better ones.

My mom and dad are here

Well there are two more days until I move. The house is mostly packed up. We’re tripping over boxes, and discovering things we might need may already be packed. I’m usually a very last minute packing so I have surprised myself in being half way organized this time.

My parents arrived yesterday. They pulled up in front of my house in their RV to which the kids were jumping up and down yelling “grandpa and grandma are here!’ I walked outside to see the smaller RV that I had traveled two weeks with my parents in last year only to found they had upgraded a bit. NICE! WHY couldn’t they have had that for our trip last year?I proposed that they leave me the RV to move into and they could fly home….they didn’t take the offer.

 

I took them down to the RV park. Ok and RV park in my small town consists of a slab of concrete and about 5 spaces.They can’t complain too much they have their own private tennis and basketball courts.:)

 

So today will be filled with the last of the packing,working on the car, and kids running around hopped up on “grandparents are here!!!!” sugar.

 

My whole body is tired just thinking about it.

The Statement That Rocked My World This Week

I know I’ve sucked at blogging this week.I could give you a million excuses why. In fact most of those excuses would be valid. I could whine at you and tell you about my busy week…but then everyone else has had an equally busy week.I could just say my heart hasn’t been in it…but that’s not true either. The reason I haven’t really been a great blogger this week is all Kenna’s fault. She sent me into a tailspin with one simple sentence she declared to me back on Monday night.

She has had my head spinning from the moment she said it. I’m not sure how to take what she said and I’m still processing it.The simple thing she said to me so matter of factually was:

“I’m pretty sure I’ll be a single mom when I grow up.”

The statistics of it all is yes, if she gets married and has children her marriage only has what a 50% survival rate? I asked her why she felt like that she answered

“I want kids. I don’t want a dad for my kids though if he doesn’t want to be a part of my kid’s lives and will not be there for me.”

UMMMMM….WOW….Breathe momma and don’t cry.

How do you answer that?I realize this comment doesn’t really need an answer. She’s 10 going on 23.

I will be honest and say there were two reactions I had to this statement.Both making them self reflect.

The first PRIDE:

She gets all that I do for the family. She sees that yes even though a family SHOULD be made up of mommy and daddy and kids, it just doesn’t always work like that and that if it doesn’t life has to go on. She feels that she has enough strength in her even at this young age that if push comes to shove she could do it on her own. She very obviously is not going to settle for less than the best from any perspective guy she may date then marry.

I have done a good job of hiding some of the harder times us single moms go through from her…so she doesn’t see it.

They know how to take care of a household because we have learned as a team. They do know it takes everyone in the family to make a house run smoothly.

the second reaction was GUILT:

No child should EXPECT that when they grow up they’re going to have to be a parent on their own. I haven’t always been in the best relationships and my kids know this and have seen this(this includes with their dad.) When my kids did have a “father figure” that wasn’t anyone I was dating but a husband of a friend whom they all loved,that relationship ended badly. He ended up committing suicide. Talk about rocking your kid’s world. No child should ever have to go through that.

I have done too good of a job of hiding the hard times with my kids. While I’m very open and honest with my kids,maybe I’m not being honest enough? They don’t know how,in my head,while I was trying to get Holly’s arm free this week I was thinking “Please…I wish I had anyone to call besides my daddy for advice on this.”(and in all fairness to that last statement I could’ve called B but he was starting a new job that day and well I figured a “help holly’s arm is stuck” phone call would not look good for him.)

They didn’t see me angry and pissed off,punching the wall, screaming at the fact that not only did my best friend lose her husband and her kids lost their father, but the one man my kids had trusted had totally just screwed them all over.No one saw these moments because I had no one there to support me…I had to work through them on my own.

They have always seen me do it all on my own. Even when married to their father. The upside of this…I CAN do most things on my own. The downside? Sometimes I’m too stubborn and bull-headed for my own good and it causes problems for me. (as in no I won’t go to the hospital I’m fine even though my heart is racing I can’t breathe and I hurt like hell.) it has also caused problems in past realtionships where I just automatically assume I’m responsible for every little thing and then I end up being taken advantage of.

They have not seen my totally pathetic “I KNOW I’m gonna be the lonely old cat woman for the rest of my life.” moments. Yes I joke about them on here and with others. Very few have seen these moments. Like I said they are PATHETIC.

She has no clue on how much I have had to sacrifice to be able to stay home with them as a single mom.

 

So yeah as you can see one little sentence from Kenna totally threw me through a loop. I’m happy she sees that yes she can be strong enough to do almost anything on her own. I’m sad and guilty that she would just assume she is going to have to at some point.

We have read the Bible on all of this. We’ve talked about how we’re not meant to do this on our own. God created Eve because Adam was lonely. She knows what the Bible says…but she also sees the reality of the fallen world.

I’m in a great relationship now. I’m praying that with time Kenna will see the positives of having two adults in a household. I’m praying that I won’t always have to be a single mom. I’m praying that the words,

“I’m pretty sure I’ll be a single mom.” will change to ” I cannot wait to meet the man of my dreams and raise a family with him.”

Yeah kids can really rock your world.

Bring on the Food Coma

The day before yesterday I was itching to cook and bake so I did like I always did. I made a huge batch of breaded zucchini and an awesome dip to go with it.I made zucchini bread and then a huge diner of nachos. I thought by the end of the day I was gonna slip into a food coma.

Well yesterday B and the girls came over and the kids played and we made dinner. I made chicken fried steak and gravy and he made mashed potatoes with garlic,cheese, and bacon(ahem the bacon was my idea). He also made sautéed onions….yummm.

I think we dirtied every dish in the kitchen. In fact I know we did because this morning when I woke up I couldn’t find a fork to eat my heated up chicken fried steak and had to eat it in the container I put it away in!

After they left last night I sent Holly up to bed and then me and the oldest settled into watch a little Invader Zim. Within minutes I found Lane on the floor like this:

Followed within the next 10 minutes of Nathaniel and Kenna:

I think it may have been the cherry cobbler I made for dessert. Or the running around they had all done outside that pushed them over the edge.

Either way it’s obviously hard work being a kid. This morning I walked into the living room and found all 3 asleep on the couch

That lump under the beige blanket would be Kenna. HOW can kids sleep like that?

Funny the first words out of their mouth when they woke up was…”Mom what’s for breakfast?”

What I Did Without Internet Oh and Yogurt Pancakes!

So I’ve been gone a couple of days….gone and sodaless(yes that’s a word) I’d like to say the homeschool room is perfect that I got bit by the organizing bug and yeah…but come on now if you’ve been reading my blog for any amount of time you know that’s probably not the truth. I WILL say the homeschool room is sooo close to being  done. Really the only thing I need to do is clean off that dreaded desk covered in papers,doorknobs,t-shirts, and screwdrivers. Um next time I decide to rent a really old house that needs work…someone smack me PLEASE! Oh and I need to figure out if the history books should go next to the science books or if they should go somewhere else. Seriously?This has been my conundrum of the last 72 hours. WHERE do I put my history books and novels I have. That and can I really teach fables/myths at the same time as Unites States History. GAH! It’s a scary place inside my head sometimes. Oh the perils of a home school mom. (honestly probably only inside my head)

What I HAVE been doing for the last 72 hours while I was sodaless and my internet was down is

1.Making several trips upstairs to put a few things on the designated shelves(I’m thinking I may label the shelves then the kids have NO excuse)then returning downstairs claiming the 80 degree heat is too hot to work. Ummm I just did 120degree  heat for how many years?

2.Coming up with a new yummy pancake recipe!!!Seriously yogurt pancakes = YUMMMMMM

3.Exploring every free option game on my computer and kicking some serious butt at poker wishing it wasn’t only a game and that I really got to keep the $250,000.

4.Slowly becoming addicted to iced coffee which I will totally blame my cousin Teri for since she brought me one Sunday when they came out for breakfast/lunch/brunch on Sunday.

5.School we have been doing school amidst the mess and chaos.

6. Preparing my monthly grocery list for this morning. I am seriously counting down the hours before I can wake up the kids singing “let’s go grocery shopping” I LOVE grocery shopping,seriously. I know I’m sick I need help.

7.Trying to keep my mind off the fact I’ve had no soda in my house for the last week and do I really need to buy more today?Yes yes I think I do….or I could just perfect my iced coffee addiction.

8.Checked my internet a million times to see if it was back and played about a million and one games of solitaire.Oh look it’s back. May I never have to play another game of solitaire again…or I may scream.

So as you can see I’ve been so productively busy. Again I blame the high 80’s low 90’s temperatures. My body is all confused thinking wait this is August it should be like oh 120 degrees not fall temperatures.May I never live in Arizona again,it really messes with my mind.

I did something I do quite often  on Sunday morning. Well besides going to church. I made breakfast. Now my kids would probably just drink coffee if I let them ,but well you’ve seen some of the things they’ve said or done,like my kids need coffee! So I decided to make biscuits and gravy and like I often do I post on facebook what I am making and who wants to come over for breakfast? I got my normal responses from my friends who live states away saying they’d be here in oh 2 days. Hardy har har… but then something wonderful happened. My cousin Teri said her and her husband were coming over like for reals! EEK!!! This is the cousin I lived with for a month when me and the kids moved back up here so the very least I could do is make them breakfast. I scrambled to get into the shower and to scrape the cat puke off my front porch(blech silly neighbor cat) and the kids ran around picking up the house because we had family coming over. We all had a wonderful time and she even helped me by cutting up the cantaloupe,doing some dishes, and wiping down my counters even UNDERNEATH things. Yes Teri I saw it…what would I do without you?

So if you ever see an invite from me on facebook for a meal you should totally take me up on it. I won’t even make you wipe the counters…well unless you want to!Then you might just be my best friend.

Wait I can’t leave my post like this. I mentioned a yogurt pancake recipe and well I know you’re dying to try it. Now keep in my mind most of my recipes are made to feed us five plus more so you might want to cut the recipe in half if you have a smaller family.

Yogurt Pancakes

3 c yogurt (I did vanilla yogurt but you probably could do any flavor ohhh coffee yogurt! Do they make that?)

2 c flour

3Tbs sugar

3tsp baking soda

3 eggs

1 tsp(or more if you want) vanilla

Now when you mix these up they’re gonna be umm fluffy looking. It’s the yogurt in them. When you cook them up they’re gonna look even more fluffy!(Think Despicable Me “It’s so FLUUFFFFYYYYY I’m gonna die) When you take them off the heat they’re gonna get thin…really thin but trust me they lose NONE of their flavor. I was gonna eat one to tatse test before the kids and winded up eating 5 then more later that night for a midnight snack.

This is a great recipe if you’ve got a big tub of yogurt in your fridge that is close to going bad because you swore you were gonna try to eat more yogurt this month but honestly….it’s more fun to bake with. Oh it’s also a great recipe if you have kids that insist on eating breakfast like mine do. Ungrateful minions 🙂 No they loved them and they may have joined me in the late night binging on pancakes. I love my kids,how did they ever get so awesome?

 

 

 

They Call Him Mr Lay Mass

The kids are back,the birds are singing,the coffee is a little better, The skies are blue and all is right with the world. Oh did I forget to mention the first sound I heard from my kids yesterday morning was the olders yelling at Holly. Yes like I said,all is right with the world :).

After hearing the cry of “Mom we’re on the last bit of toilet paper” we decided to book it into town. Of course I couldn’t have thought about picking some up while I was in various towns all weekend. While at the store they had movies 2 for 10. We picked up Tangled and Jack Black’s Gulliver’s Travels

So of course when we got home we decided to be a bunch of lazy bums and watch Gulliver’s Travels.I was paying half attention to the movie while playing I mean errr umm working on the computer. There’s a part where Gulliver tells Horatio that the General sounds like a real Lame Ass (yes I know great for a kid’s movie right?) anyways a couple seconds later Nathaniel asks

“Mom what’s a Lame Ass?” I kinda looked at him like he had sprouted a third eyeball in the middle of his forehead because well let’s face it,mommy doesn’t always have the cleanest mouth.(shocking I know) I actually started trying to recall in my head if in fact I had never used the term Lame Ass in front of the kids.In fact i was feeling kind of proud of myself. I explained it meant someone stupid or lame.

A second later Lane pipes up and says “Mom he said the A word” I totally thought he was talking about Jack Black and I told him

“I know,not real impressed with that part for a kid’s movie”

“No mom Nathaniel said the A word” Lane pointed out about the question his brother had just asked me. (Let me tell you I was on top of my A game yesterday) I looked over at Nathaniel and said,

“Oh yeah you did what the heck kid?” Nathaniel looked a little perplexed for a minute and then told me

“No no no I asked you what a Lay Mass was?” (Looks like I wasn’t the only one on top of my A game yesterday)

At this point I start to giggle and Nathaniel realizes that Gulliver had actually said Lame ass. He gets all flustered and is actually at a loss for words.

“Way to go Mr Lay Mass,” I told him.

For the rest of the day I addressed him as Mr Lay Mass,not to be confused with Lame Ass. Yeah I’m a cruel mother like that.

Meet my kiddos….Holly

Ok I did save the youngest for last. This is my super speed ball of energy Holly

Ok how’s that for one of the first images you’ll see of the day?Scary huh?Currently she is missing oh about 10 teeth. In fact I think this is the first week that the Tooth Fairy has not visited the house. Seriously the Tooth Fairy might be filing bankruptcy here soon!

Holly may have youngest child syndrome you know the drill. Just because she’s the youngest doesn’t mean she can’t do EVERYTHING the bigger kids do. Most likely she’ll do it and do it better as well. I have to warn her brothers that someday if they keep picking on her she may end up kicking their butt.

 

Do you SEE that look in her eyes? Yes she’s definitely ALWAYS thinking! she always has something up her sleeve. She was by far the easiest of all my babies. Either that or by the time she came along I was more laid back and didn’t let the little things bother me as much

She basically taught herself how to read 2 years ago and is already on to chapter books. I guess when you have your three older siblings doing school since the time of your birth you just sort of pick up on things!

 

She loves to help me out in the kitchen. She is mastering her chopping skills quite nicely and of course out of the kindness of her heart is always the first to offer to lick the bowl!I swear this child has boundless energy and hates that I make her still take naps. (which will be ending soon). She still loves to snuggle up and give me kisses.

She is more than just the youngest though. She is my child that taught me not to give up on my dreams of having lots of kids. Two years prior to her I had a baby who very shortly after birth passed away(a post for another time). I thought for sure at that time my heart would never heal and I would never be able to carry through another pregnancy or hold another one of my babies in my arms.

Holly changed ALL OF THAT.  My tough attitude of I’m ok with not having anymore kids quickly melted away.She was definitely my easiest delivery and besides the fact that I drove myself with the three other kids to the hospital,in labor,her labor herself was a big ol party. I had decided by that point instead of living in constant worry of what would happen that I would surround myself with my closest friends and have as much fun as I could. I’m sure the nurses thought we were all crazy. I’m talking one big slumber party complete with pillow fights and all.

Holding her in my arms was surreal. My doubts and worry quickly melted away. My heart started to heal. Holly in herself has no way of knowing this but she taught me how to love again and to never settle for your second option but to always strive for your first.